I really like The Cork-Lined Room. The discussion of Proust is excellent with its use of quotes and detail and yet is something every reader can follow--in other words its not too "academic."
Small confession: I used to be in the academic camp and somehow migrated to genre fiction where I'm not really at home either. A wanderer in the city of narrative.
The link to the post with wonderful reflections on Mme. Verdurin, Odette and Marcel is below:
What a cursor-full!
I always like to see how an author handles flowers.
Odette, the other one